Saturday, April 12, 2008

Kappa Alpha Tau Report

In the used book store I picked up a cool ghost story book - another of my hobbies is collecting ghost stories. Anyway, in Ghosts of the Carolinas, Nancy Roberts, University of South Carolina Press, 3rd printing, 1991, (c) 1988 from Roberts' stories circa 1962-1967. "The Witch Cat" (pp. 34-39) describes a story of pre-Revolutionary South Carolina of a widower grain miller who meets a beautiful traveler and marries her. It's a typical composite ghost story with classic story telling elements. However, Roberts is an gifted, outstanding storyteller and makes the narrative come alive. I extracted a pericope from the within the longer story that I thought Lovecraft might have liked had he read it or would have enjoyed hearing if one of his friends had told it to him.

The Witch Cat
...Tim Farrow could feel his flesh tingle with real fear. ... At that moment there came a sharp, staccato pounding at the door ... Tim sprang ... seized an ax which he had placed beside him in the event of trouble. There was a brief moment of silence. Then the door flew open . In rushed a horde of tremendous cats. Backs humped and teeth bared, the cats began to inscribe menacing circles around him. As they passed they struck visciously at him with their outstretched paws. The terrified miller soon saw that if he did not defend himself he would be clawed to death. Grasping his ax with both hands he swung mightily at a ferocious cat springing straight at him. The face with its flashing yellow eyes was close upon him as his ax swept through the air and landed on the animal's right paw, completely severing it. The cat gave one cry of terrible pain and with ear splitting screams and catterwauling the whole band fled out the door through which they came.

Tim stumbled out of the mill and back to his cottage. He found his wife in their bedroom. She lay on the bed in a rapidly widening pool of blood. To his horror he saw that it flowed from her right arm.

The arm had been neatly severed at the wrist.

Before the wretched man could speak his wife leaped out of the bed and her body took on the shape of a monstrous cat. Eyes blazing, it streaked past him out of the house.

Roberts wrote for the Charlotte Observer, coming tot he attention of Carl Sandberg who encouraged her story telling. Her first book was in 1958.

No comments:


Blog Archive


Google Analytics